Thomasians reject council bets, vote ‘abstain’ in 4 of 6 posts

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Lone presidential bet Steven Grecia (LTC) during the proclamation of results of the Central Student Council elections. Photo by Deejae S. Dumlao

IN AN unprecedented development, Thomasians roundly rejected candidates in four out of six positions in the Central Student Council (CSC) Executive Board including the presidency, while two independents won the positions of secretary and public relations officer.

The official proclamation of the new CSC Executive Board officers held April 22 at the Tan Yan Kee lobby revealed that majority of students chose to abstain rather than vote for the candidates for president, vice president, treasurer and auditor.

The Lakas Tomasino Coalition (LTC) standard-bearer, third-year medical technology student Steven Grecia, got a total of 12,596 votes, but 15,803 students opted to abstain.

Speech-language pathology sophomore Gabriela Sepulchre (LTC) and industrial design junior Renz Santiago (Lakasdiwa), who both ran for vice president, obtained 10,130 votes and 5,051 votes, respectively. A total of 13,169 voters abstained.

Independent candidate Therese Gorospe was elected secretary with a total of 11,319 votes, defeating hotel and restaurant management junior Alexandra Guevarra (LTC) and travel management sophomore Josephine Beatrice Domingo (Lakasdiwa). Guevarra garnered 5,262 votes while Domingo obtained 3,031 votes. A total of 8,806 students abstained.

Candidates for treasurer lost to over 13,088 abstentions. Marketing management sophomore Daveson Nieto (LTC) got 9,446 votes while journalism junior Christopher Reyes (Lakasdiwa) garnered 5,867 votes.

For the position of auditor, accountancy sophomore Richard Javier (LTC) got 10,212 votes while industrial engineering sophomore Aston Estorpe earned 4,881 votes. Both lost after 13,329 students abstained.

Political science sophomore Francis Santos won the post of public relations officer with 9,877 votes, defeating literature junior Lance Santiago (LTC) who earned 6,948 votes, and nursing junior John Rhorick Legaspi who obtained 3,393 votes. A total of 8,806 students chose to abstain.

LTC, which dominated last year’s elections with victories in five out of six positions, was not able to secure any position this year.

The UST Central Commission on Elections (Comelec) decided to revert to manual voting this year after technical glitches plagued last year’s elections.

According to Article 11, Section 4 of the CSC Constitution, the secretary shall act as president in case of vacancy in the office of the president and the vice president.

Section 5 of Article 11 adds that each member of the CSC shall nominate any local council executive board officer in case of vacancy in any other position in the CSC Executive Board.

“From among the nominees, three shall be chosen by the CSC through secret ballot to become candidates for the position. The winner shall become the officer and shall be deemed ipso facto resigned as local council executive board officer. The proceedings shall be presided by the President of the CSC,” the section read.

According to Section 7 of the same article, the Comelec shall immediately call special elections two months after the regular polls.

The newly elected presidents of the different faculties and colleges of the University will become members of the next CSC Central Board, the student body’s legislative arm.

They are Mark Israel Marasigan (Accountancy), Reymark Simbulan (Arts and Letters), Rafael Rodrigo Zaldivar (Architecture), Jonathan Santos (Civil Law), Brian Roy Mercado (Commerce and Business Administration), Jose Antonio De Guzman (Science), Stephen Kyle Farinas (IICS), Maria Daniella Pabellano (Education), Shane Domingo (Education High School), Vincent Arado (Sacred Theology), Rocelle de Mesa (Junior High School), Yna Marie Jubas (Engineering), Covie Glen Ungos (Fine Arts and Design), Tetsuya Jumi Makino (Medicine and Surgery), Frinz Charles Casas (Music), Anne Lorraine Fernando (Pharmacy), Louie Marie Opina (Philosophy), Angela Betina Tiamzon (Physical Education and Athletics), Thad Nuel Natividad (Rehabilitation Sciences), and Denn Gerald Alberto (Tourism and Hospitality Management).

The College of Nursing rescheduled its local elections to May 8 to 11 because majority of the candidates were not able to to submit their Certificates of Academic Performance on time.

This year, 28,858 out of 43,762 students or 66 percent voted in the CSC elections, a decrease from last year’s turnout of 30,645 voters out of 44,791 students or 68 percent.

Elections were held from April 18 to 21. With reports from Chelsey Mei Nadine B. Brazal and Christian de Lano M. Deiparine

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was first published with the information that voter turnout for this year’s student elections was equivalent to 54.5 percent. The actual percentage equivalent of voter turnout is 66 percent. Changes have been made on this article to correct the mistake. We apologize for the miscalculation.

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